How a Monkey Saved Me

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May 26, 2016

For many years I taught kids’ yoga. It kept me in shape, lifted my spirits and brought much joy into my life. It defined me. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2003, I was doing remarkably well.

A diagnosis of right temporal lobe epilepsy (due to a nasty MS lesion) in 2012 ended all that. Due to the complications and ongoing treatment, I could no longer teach. I fell into a deep depression. For over a year I could not get on my yoga mat, as it was just too painful. Who was I if I was no longer the teacher that I loved being? MS had robbed my body of the ability I needed. I realized that it was up to me to deny MS the ability to rob me mentally and spiritually.

I created Yoga Monkey, a teaching guide for kids’ yoga, so that I could still instruct and inspire. Even though I am no longer physically doing it alongside them, I’m back to doing what I love! It may not be my “ideal” but to teach kids yoga was always the ultimate and true goal. I just do it differently now.

Yoga Monkey Kids is a program designed to introduce children to the benefits and wonders of yoga. We believe in teaching to the child as a whole — nurturing the mind, body and spirit. Yoga Monkey Kids teaches purposeful movement, mindful eating and the benefits of giving back to the community through charity and good deeds. Our program covers physical needs, psychological needs and altruistic behaviors that will help set the framework for a healthy and peaceful life.

You will not break me MS. I am stronger than that. I am eternally grateful to the monkey who showed me the way. #WeAreStrongerThanMS

“True peace with ourselves and with the world around us can be achieved only through the development of mental peace.”

—Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama


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